An employee has a
right to be represented during an investigatory interview. A supervisor
or human resources representative normally conducts this interview. Should
you be called into such an interview, you should immediately request your
Union to be present.
What is an
investigatory interview? An investigatory interview is any meeting
that may lead to disciplinary action against you. This is a meeting when
a supervisor questions an employee for the express purpose of obtaining
information, which could be used as a basis for discipline. Or any meeting
where a supervisor or HR asks an employee to defend his or her conduct.
Investigatory interviews may relate to subjects such as: excessive use
of company equipment, accessing or viewing inappropriate internet sites
(pornography, sexually explicit, or hate sites) on company premises or
use of company equipment, absenteeism, drinking, fighting, poor attitude,
violation of safety rules, accidents, drugs, insubordination, sabotage,
work performance, damage to company property, falsification of records,
lateness, theft, or any violation of work rules or procedures.
What do you
do if you are called into a meeting
that appears to be investigatory? Ask that the meeting
be ended until you can speak with your SPEEA Council Rep and have them present
at the meeting. Be clear and to the point in your request for union representation.
You cannot be punished for making this request.
What are the
company’s options after you make such a request? The company
can either; 1) grant the request and stop the meeting until a union representative
arrives; 2) deny the request and end the interview immediately; or 3)
give the employee the choice of either having the interview without representation
or ending the interview immediately.
if the supervisor (or HR) denies the request for union representation
and continues to ask questions? He or she is committing an unfair
labor practice and the employee has the right to refuse to answer the
questions. The employee cannot be punished for such a refusal. Please
keep in mind, this is a stressful situation. The employee should remain
absolute, but continue to conduct him/herself in a professional.
I get ahold of my Council Rep? If you don’t
know how to reach your Council Rep ask the HR representative the name
of your Council Rep. The HR representative should know this information.
If your Council Rep is not available, feel free to contact another
Council Rep that you know or call SPEEA Headquarters at (206) 433-0991 and ask for a Contract Administrator.